Angler's Mail features editor Richard Howard reveals some of the very best winter baits for chub.

A LOT of anglers target chub in the winter months when they start packing on the weight and filling out.

And whether you’ve just got a couple of hours to spare or a day session, providing your river’s not chocolate coloured with ‘four foot on’, you’re in with a chance.

A river that’s fining down with a steady or rising water temperature and a tinge of colour is best.

The beauty of the method is, that you don’t need much tackle or bait and a simple running link leger with around 6 lb line straight through or to a 4 lb hook length and river feeder rod will suffice.

In an ideal world if you can walk the length of water you are intending to fish and drop some freebie hookbaits into the swims you like the look of to get a few fish sniffing around, so much the better.

So what about best winter baits for chub?

Here’s my top choice for roving, especially if you can stay on a bit into dark touch legering, or with an isotope on your quivertip.




One of the best all-round baits out there in my view.

Slipped onto a size 8 or 10 hook and flicked out to splash and settle under a weed raft, or on the edge of a ‘crease’ in the flow.

Expect a very quick bite if a chub is lurking. You could try flicking some broken bits of worm in beforehand too. You might just nail a big perch.


Paste cage


There are a number of different recipes. Chub love cheese paste especially after dark.

Mould it around the hook, with just the hook point free, or use a ‘bait cage’ on the hair as shown.  Prime swims in advance with half a dozen small pieces to get some scent down.

You can try boosting it with garlic or even tuna for more punch.




Or it’s partner – popped up bread crust. Chub love them both, try feeding a bit or mashed bread into the swim first to get them looking for it, before flicking out your hookbait.

A highly visible bait, a great texture and it’s cheap. And chub can be tempted on a big mouthful.

You can try dipping some of your hookbait in krill flavouring as an extra flavour boost.




Boasting a great flavour leak off, great texture and again highly visible.

Buy the shell-on prawns and peel them on the bank to ensure you have the most flavoursome hookbaits.

Break and feed half a dozen pieces into your swim before going in with a hookbait if possible.


BE ready, chub are one of those species that can pounce on a bait before it’s even settled – first cast. And you can easily miss your only chance in a ‘new swim’.

So many bites are missed because anglers are just adjusting their front ’rest or just closing the lid on their bait box when the quivertip suddenly pulls round – and then drops back.

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